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New UK Points-Based Immigration System

15 July 2020

The UK Government has now revealed further details of a new points-based immigration system that will come into force on 1st January 2021 once freedom of movement between the UK and EU has ended.

Under the new points-based system, which will give priority to high-skilled workers, EU nationals will be treated the same as people from the rest of the world.

How will the new immigration system work?

From 1st January 2021, people who want to live and work in the UK will need 70 points to be eligible to apply for a visa.

The government said that in order to get a visa, applicants from anywhere in the world will be required to:
  • speak English to an acceptable level (10 points);
  • have a job offer from an ‘approved employer’ at an ‘acceptable skill level’ (20+20 points), and
  • meet a general salary threshold of £25,600 (20 points).
Points will also be awarded for holding better qualifications (10 points for a relevant PhD; or 20 points for a PhD in engineering, science, technology or maths ) or having a job offer in an area where the UK has a shortage (20 points), even if the minimum salary threshold requirements are not met.

Furthermore, the Government has now revealed that foreign workers coming to the UK to do certain jobs in health and education can still get 20 points as long as they earn a minimum salary of £20,480 per year, which is in line with national pay scales.

What about people who come to the UK to study?

The Government stated that there will be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study.

A new graduate route will be available, from the summer of 2021, and will allow international students to remain in the UK for at least two years after completing their studies, rising to three years for those who have done a PhD.

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